I’d Like to Punch Comparison
Comparison really gets on my nerves. It’s cramping my style. It’s hacking me off. It’s driving a wedge between moms I love. It’s muddying the waters. It’s creating tension.
What other metaphors can I add?
Oh, here’s one! You know what comparison is? It’s like the Magic Kingdom for the enemy. It’s where he does his best work.
You see, the enemy doesn’t want us resting in the way God made us. He doesn’t want us assured of our gifts and using them for God. He wants us doubting, hiding, comparing and worrying. He wants us frozen with fear – wondering what others will think. He wants us feeling empty – that we aren’t capable or good enough or worthy or talented. He wants us to hate our jobs and to stay put in discontentment. And slowly divide this beautiful thing called community because he wants us resenting and judging anyone that actually succeeds or enjoys the job.
So, I’m a little anti-comparison right now because it’s wrecking the game of motherhood.
I am part of it. I post my best 10% on social media, which doesn’t help the problem. Through my Instagram photos, you see all the fun things I do for my kids. You don’t see our bad days, the meals I don’t cook and the messy house. The good moments are real, and my passion for empowering moms and their kids hopefully bleeds through whatever I do. In my attempt to offer ideas and inspiration, there’s always a side of me that wonders if it’s hurting more than helping.
I also partake in the comparison battle when I believe the lies. I admire a friend’s lifestyle or tiny hiney in jeans or an Instagram photo of someone’s cool den or a blog post getting wildly spread—and I start to doubt if I’m doing it right. I believe the lie that because we are different I must be doing it wrong. I watch some other mom in action and she’s so darn soft-spoken and her kids are so sweet to each other, and then I compare and reevaluate it all. And then even take myself down for some time.
We were never created to be apples to apples – it was always a unique game plan.
Moms, we have the same job title, but that’s about it. Our common denominator stops there. After that, imagine the differences. Some have two kids. Some have seven. Some have girls. Some have boys. Some are single moms. Some work two jobs. Some stay home all day and some work while at home with kids. Some have lots of help with their kids. Some have no help. Some have tiny ones on their hips and some have grown kids. Yet we size ourselves up against other moms and wonder why we can’t do the exact same things they do – even if our means, income, resources, talents and passions are totally opposite theirs.
In college, we all had different majors. I never once got jealous or compared myself to my nursing friends. I wouldn’t have lasted a minute in their classes. I knew in my soul I was not made for a nursing degree and I had zilcho desire. My friends were, however, and they answered that calling. I got a PR degree and loved every class. We didn’t compare or question our unique majors, passions and callings. We just went for it.
I wish motherhood could be the same. Is it that the stakes are higher? We care so much about the welfare of our kids that we want to get it right? We watch and study and compare because we’ll do anything to be the best for our kids?
What if the best for our kids wasn’t what we could learn or practice or force ourselves to be – what if it was just waking up daily and accepting the love of Christ? Learning to grow and trust Him so much that everything flowed from that? And our kids began to felt it. They saw us change. And they noticed. They knew mom didn’t do things because another mom said so but because God said so.
I want my guiding force and comparison chart to be my God. What do you have for me Lord? I’ll go wherever you call me. I’ll do whatever you call me to do – even if it looks weird or different from other moms. I want the best for my kids and my life – and the best is your will.
So, where do we go from here?
As a comparing human… I’m going with this plan:
1. I have to get my affirmation from the Lord, which means more time with Him.
2. I have to recognize when I’m comparing and stop it sooner. Instead of a week in a funk, stop it that day or that hour. “Oh! There it is – that useless comparison thing. Sorry, Lord. Coming back to you, not the world’s standards for my worth.”
3. Celebrate, Not Condemn – Celebrate the good I see in my friend or someone I admire – don’t condemn or knock them for what they are good at. Celebrate it and tell them, "Well done!"
4. Repeat, repeat, repeat – I have a feeling that getting my affirmation from the wrong source will continue to be a problem until I continue to go to the correct source (my dieting problems, for example). Stasi Eldredge said health issues are solved from inside-out, not outside-in. I think same is true for this comparison issue. It’s a heart issue. Lord, change my desire to please you and only you.
Anyone else get sucked down in the game of comparison?
All of you that are so sweet to say, “You are the best mom” and “I wish you were my mom.” Thank you for the kindest words ever. Just please know that I am not all you think I am. I do my best for my kids and we have some fun – but you see a glimpse. So, I promise my kids want to eat dinner at your house. And they want your clean cars and they want your quiet mouth. It’s not all perfecto here.
YOU are a great mom. Keep being true to the perfectly unique role he called for you.